It is my practice, when in Ireland, to eat at least five forms of potato every day. It isn’t difficult and it is certainly no hardship. Take yesterday: The day started with leftover ham and homefries. At Fitzroy’s in Derry, we each ordered potatoes off the extensive potato menu offered at lunch. My Bombay potatoes ( a sort of posh “curry chip”) were the best. The Contessa ordered fries with chilli and sour cream and Spud had garlic potatoes. Last night, we had roasties with our turkey dinner.
Today started with potato bread and reheated homefries among the many home-cooked breakfast options. At lunch, I had vegetable soup, which had welcome potato pieces suspended in the starchy sludge. Spud had a “make your own colcannon” option with his beef roast so I had some of his mash and buttered cabbage. I also ordered garlic fries–those served at the Ballyliffin Hotel are the best in all Ireland.
Of course I have to also catch up with the dishes I can’t get in America. We had excellent fish and chips in McGinleys on Derry’s Strand Road. Derry, controversially, is UK city of culture in 2013. Based on their cooking alone, this title is well deserved. I have been on a quest for the perfect sherry trifle. The one at the Ballyliffin hotel had no custard and was just a berry-colored slush. The one at the Rusty Nail pub in Urris had mistakenly included jelly beneath the custard and cream, but my portion had no sponge fingers, no fruit, and no sherry. A bit of a disappointment. I have now abjured both sugar and flour –oh, and alcohol–for new year, so there will be no more trifling with trifle on this visit. Thank goodness potatoes are still on the approved list.